Do you dream of doing something really fun this summer, instead of the traditional boring vacation? Go for it! Here are 8 tips to help you plan your next adventure vacation, so you can have one of the best trips of your life.
Are you one of the millions of Americans planning on taking a vacation soon? With 28% of vacation-goers saying they plan on taking 3 or more trips this summer, you may feel the pressure to be one of them.
If you’ve made a habit of taking laid-back vacations in the past, you may want to swap your local beach out for an action-packed adventure vacation. Snorkeling, biking, hiking, and kayaking are just a few of the awesome experiences you may be in for.
But what if you’ve never traveled to one of the many adventurous vacation destinations before? How will you know what to expect? Well, good news! We have plenty of tips just for you.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover 8 tips for planning your next outdoor adventure vacation.
1. Know Your Travel Style
Before you do anything, you need to get real with yourself. Backpacking through Southeast Asia may sound fun in theory, but if you can’t handle big bugs or lumpy beds, you’re going to be in for a rough trip.
Think about what you can handle and what is a deal breaker. Do you need a private room, a hot shower, complimentary breakfast, room service, or reliable Wi-Fi? Do you need a nice hotel room, or are you okay renting a bed out in a dorm-style hostel room?
While it’s always a good idea to try new things, pushing yourself too far out of your comfort zone with travel style can ruin your vacation.
2. Set a Realistic Budget
Money talks, and you’ll likely need plenty of it when going on your adventure vacation.
The most important part of planning a successful trip is deciding what your budget is and sticking to it! If you have a smaller budget, check out countries in South America and Southeast Asia – your money will go a lot further here than it will in Europe or Australia.
Think about all the costs you’ll incur on vacation – airfare, taxi fees, visas, hotels, food, and activities. Keep a list of how much you would realistically spend on each of these. Popular tourist activities and food in touristy areas can get expensive even in the cheapest countries, so be sure to factor that in!
And don’t forget about what you need to do to prepare for your trip. Do you need vaccines, a new bathing suit, sunscreen, a new camera, or hiking boots? These costs can add up considerably!
What it comes down to is setting a realistic budget and choosing a comparable destination. You may want to take a 2-week trip to Paris, but if your budget is only $1,000, you won’t have enough money to enjoy yourself – you may not even have enough for a plane ticket!
3. Travel by Season
Alright, so you’ve set your budget and picked a destination! You may be looking at outdoor vacation ideas now but try not to get ahead of yourself. First, you need to do some research on weather patterns.
If you’ve only traveled domestically before, this may be something that you’ve never consciously thought of before because summer = warm. But, not every country is like this.
Depending on what your potential adventurous vacation destinations are, you may find that each destination has a different peak season. Some places experience wet seasons, monsoons seasons, or hurricane seasons. While it’ll be cheaper to travel during these times, you may get stuck with some bad (and potentially dangerous) weather.
Be sure to look out for average temperatures, too. If you can’t handle the intense heat and humidity of some tropical places, you may want to go during their winter where it’ll be cooler (but not cold) and dryer.
4. Take Your Time Packing
Packing mistakes…we’ve all made them. But packing for an adventure vacation can be a little more difficult. Think about what you pack when you go to your local beach – shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits, flip-flops, and plenty of sunscreens.
When going to one of the best vacation spots for outdoor activities, you’ll probably have a more extensive packing list. You may need water shoes, hiking shoes, a snorkel, and mask, or special rock climbing gloves.
If you plan on doing a lot of exercise or sight-seeing in a humid area, you’ll probably go through more than one outfit a day. Nobody wants to interrupt their vacation to do laundry, so make sure you write a full list of everything you’ll need and read “what to wear in ….” articles for advice.
The key is to pack enough, so you’re well prepared, but not to pack too much that it doesn’t all fit in your carry-on and checked bag.
5. Think Hard Before Inviting Anyone to Join You
Do you have your travel buddy? Whether it’s a spouse, friend, or coworker, most people have a travel buddy in mind when they decide to take a vacation.
You may not think this will be a problem, but traveling to adventurous vacation destinations can cause a lot of arguments to ensue. Before inviting anyone to join you on your vacay, make sure you would be on the same page. Do they have a similar budget and travel style? Do they like to do the same activities?
If you want to take a luxurious Dominican Republic trip, where you stay in 5-star villas and take helicopter rides, but they want to stay in 3-star hotels and go biking all day, someone’s in for a world of disappointment.
6. Get in Shape
If you’ve opted for one of the best vacation spots for outdoor activities, you’re probably planning an itinerary full of hiking, biking, and swimming.
You may think that you’re plenty in shape now (and you very well might be), but it never hurts to focus on getting in shape right before you depart. You never know what fun activities or outdoor vacation packages you’ll come across when you’re there.
You may be able to bike for an hour on a smooth path with a gentle incline. But what if you go to Australia and decide to do a full-day biking tour with Blue Mountain Adventures? You’ll want to make sure you can do the more challenging paths to make the most of your trip.
7. Think of Backup Activities
Once you’ve chosen your adventure vacation destination, you probably wrote a whole list of potential activities. If you’re anything like many adventure-seekers, the majority of these activities are probably outdoors.
If you planned to travel during the right season, this shouldn’t be a huge problem. However, the rain doesn’t stop for anyone. You should make a list of backup activities in case weather impedes your original plans. Look for cooking classes, spas, museums, zoos, or anything else that can take a few hours.
But, it’s not always the rain’s fault. Sometimes tours get canceled, or your train runs late causing you to miss your activity scheduled for the day. While this may be frustrating, things do happen – c’est la vie!
You won’t want to waste your day dwelling on your ruined plans and searching for alternatives. That’s why having a list ready is the best way to go. You can just pick another activity and move on with your vacation.
8. Research Your Location
You’ve probably already done a ton of research on your location, including average hotel costs, popular activities, food to try, and peak seasons. But don’t forget to research the boring stuff as well.
One of the first things you should do is research the visa requirements and suggested vaccines. You’ll want to get those out of the way as early as possible.
Next, investigate small things you may not have thought of. Is it customary to tip in this location? If so, how much? What are the available transportation options? Which is the cheapest or most convenient mode of transportation?
Lastly, research how safe the location is. Should you avoid traveling at night? Should you stay in the touristy areas at all cost? What scams are common?
The last thing you want is to find yourself unprepared for your destination. Failing to research any of these topics can cause you to get scammed, sick, or stranded.
How to Prepare for an Adventure Vacation
Are you excited to take your first adventure vacation? While you may have traveled before, preparing for an adventurous trip can be a lot different than taking a local trip.
To make the most of your vacation (and to help ensure things run smoothly) you should know your travel style, create a realistic budget, travel during the right season, pack well, be careful who you invite, get in shape, think of backup activities, and research your location.
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